The University of Melbourne’s U-Vet Werribee Equine Centre provides state of the art surgical and medical care to horses of all shapes and sizes. Cases are referred to us from all over Victoria and interstate to be examined and treated by Australia’s largest group of veterinary specialists.
We pride ourselves on our patient care, customer service, intensive care and dedication to training and research. The treatments the we use and recommend are backed by the latest research to which members of our team make a significant contribution.
We offer a comprehensive range of services including: lameness investigation, upper respiratory function evaluation, surgery, cardiology, neurology, 'poor performance' and pre-purchase evaluations. We have a combination of highly trained technical staff and the best available equipment so that our diagnostic imaging services are world class.
Available imaging equipment includes computer radiography, scintigraphy (bone scan), computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, endoscopy and treadmill endoscopy and the only high field MRI unit in Australia capable of imaging horse limbs.
News and resources
Dr R Chris Whitton
BVSc, PhD, FACVSc
Dr CM (Cate) Steel(née Colbourne)
BVSc, FACVSc, Diplomate ACVSMR
Dr Andrew Turner
BVSc (Hons), MANZCVS (Equine Surgery), FANZCVS (Veterinary Ophthalmology)
What should I do when I arrive at the Equine Centre?
On arrival to the Equine Centre we ask that you check in with reception staff prior to unloading your horse. A staff member will be available to assist you with unloading and weighing your horse. As we like to ensure your horse is relaxed as possible prior to any examinations or procedures they will be placed into a stable or yard to adjust to the new environment.
What should I expect during my consult?
At the beginning of your consult you will meet with a member of our veterinary team to discuss the history and the plan for your visit. This is a great time to let us know if there is anything that may change our plan slightly, such as previous drug reactions, upcoming competitions, and preference for your horse not to be clipped. During the consultation process you will be able to stay with your horse except for procedures where safety restrictions apply, for example radiographs. There may also be procedures where we will need to remove your horse's shoes.
Who will be present during the consult?
During your consultation and the examination of your horse a number of people will be assisting. This will include a veterinary specialist who has extensive training in equine medicine or surgery, a veterinary resident who is a fully qualified veterinarian undertaking advanced training to become a specialist and a veterinary nurse. As we are a teaching hospital veterinary students will also present. Our students will be observing and may be involved in minor procedures with your consent only.
The handling of your horse will be performed by one of our trained veterinary nurses. This is for safety reasons and consistency of procedures, because they know exactly what our veterinarians require. It will also allow you to concentrate on what the veterinarians are doing and what they are explaining to you.
What happens if my horse is admitted to the hospital?
It is often necessary for your horse to be admitted to the hospital either as part of the examination process or for further treatment and monitoring. Your horse will be placed into a stall and feed will be provided. We can accommodate for a number of different feeds however if your horse has a special diet please make the nurse aware and we can discuss the best course of action.
We encourage owners to take their head collars and lead ropes home, however if your horse has rugs we are happy to ensure they are put on as required. Please do not forget to label your rugs.
Are there rules when visiting my horse?
It is important that we maintain a level of care for all of our patients in the hospital as well as ensuring the safety of all people while within the Equine Centre. For this reason we ask that individuals visiting their horse follow these rules:
- Only owners/trainers listed on the admission form will be allowed to visit unless given permission from the owners. The party responsible for the horse must contact reception with a list of approved visitors.
- Whilst visiting the hospital all clients must wear appropriate clean clothing and footwear, including closed-toe shoes. Clients who are inappropriately dressed will be asked to change.
- Clients must first check in at reception. Please do not go directly to the stall.
- Clients must remain with their horses during their visit.
- Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
- Clients should not remove their horse from the stall unless given permission by the clinician. Clients must obey all signage and not enter any area marked as restricted. This includes stalls that have increased biosecurity measures.
- To protect the privacy of our clients we ask that visitors do not walk around the clinic unattended, visit other patients, take photographs of other patients or read charts of any patients. Any client doing so will be asked to leave immediately.
Can I visit my horse?
Yes, but as with all hospitals we do have visiting hours:
Monday to Friday: 10:00am - 11:00am & 6:00pm - 7:00pm
Saturday, Sunday and University Holidays: By arrangement only
All visiting hours will be strictly enforced unless the client is given permission from the clinician in charge.
Who will care for my horse while in hospital?
During your horses stay in hospital a team of nurses on rotating shifts will monitor and treat your horse under supervision of our veterinary team. The duration and frequency of monitoring depends on the type and severity of the condition for which each horse is hospitalised. The students play a role in this by performing basic monitoring and some treatments under strict supervision. The care and treatment of your horse is of upmost importance to us and we ensure that all steps are taken in maintaining the comfort of your horse.
Visit the Contact Us page for our location and contact information.